Brainstorming a cab for this bus

Danielle

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I have obtained a 94 idi na Econoline shuttle bus that I'd like to use as an open air toy hauler. The fiberglass and metal body of bus is trash. My welding skills are abysmal.

I need rear seats with seatbelts.

In my research I have found that you cannot put just an f350 cab on an Econoline frame? I can't find any threads or videos of anyone doing this except for f100 era stuff.

I can't figure out where or how to get a "crew cab" or "extended cab" Econoline cab that doesn't cost too much. Those fiberglass add on cab backs are way out of the question!
 

Cubey

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I have obtained a 94 idi na Econoline shuttle bus that I'd like to use as an open air toy hauler. The fiberglass and metal body of bus is trash. My welding skills are abysmal.

I need rear seats with seatbelts.

In my research I have found that you cannot put just an f350 cab on an Econoline frame? I can't find any threads or videos of anyone doing this except for f100 era stuff.

I can't figure out where or how to get a "crew cab" or "extended cab" Econoline cab that doesn't cost too much. Those fiberglass add on cab backs are way out of the question!

The frame on vans are very different due to how the engine mounts. You may be aware of how hard it is to do oil coolers on trucks? it's due to the frame being in the way. On vans, the frame is further out to the sides. It's one of the few things easier on vans.

Have a look at my 85 Econoline 350. The frame is far from the oil cooler and oil filter. The Racor W/S is bolted to the frame.

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Compare that to trucks. The oil cooler is almost touching the frame. (view from above)
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u2slow

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Google: E350 truck

I would say start with the front-half body of a van from a wrecking yard. Blank off the back. Re-use your nose, chassis, and powertrain.
 

captain720

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If your welding skills are "abysmal" that means they are upgradable. Consider taking an evening class or something? The cost of education and a skill may be worth it for this project. Just a thought
 

Booyah45828

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What's wrong with the current body to make it trash? Regardless, you're gonna need some sort of fabrication skills to pull this off. So either learn to weld or learn to graft fiberglass. I prefer welding, as steel is stronger then fiberglass and you'll likely be building a steel framed deck for the back.

For the seats can you reuse the seats out of the bus? I would think those would bolt to the floor easily enough and have seatbelts for booster seats, or they'd be modified easily enough to add belts. Sometimes you can find seats out of school buses, and some of those districts opted to install belts, maybe you can find some of them that a skoolie is trying to get rid of.

Do you plan on having 4 doors on this or using the shuttle door out the passenger side? I'm planning to do a truck/hauler out of an old IH school bus, but people have gone full on stupid on pricing right now, so I'll be watching and taking notes.
 

Jackieboy

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Can you find a small old school bus body, whack off the rear, whack off what you need from the front, entry door, weld the rear to the front, have rear door and seats or bed across. Been done. Works great and is cheap.
 

Jackieboy

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Also you can lap over your present fiberglass, drill it, gunk under the two halves, popribbett it, light fiberglass, a little bondo, sand it, prime it, paint it. Ride in it. Lol
 

Danielle

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What's wrong with the current body to make it trash? Regardless, you're gonna need some sort of fabrication skills to pull this off. So either learn to weld or learn to graft fiberglass. I prefer welding, as steel is stronger then fiberglass and you'll likely be building a steel framed deck for the back.

For the seats can you reuse the seats out of the bus? I would think those would bolt to the floor easily enough and have seatbelts for booster seats, or they'd be modified easily enough to add belts. Sometimes you can find seats out of school buses, and some of those districts opted to install belts, maybe you can find some of them that a skoolie is trying to get rid of.

Do you plan on having 4 doors on this or using the shuttle door out the passenger side? I'm planning to do a truck/hauler out of an old IH school bus, but people have gone full on stupid on pricing right now, so I'll be watching and taking notes.
The seams along the lower floor/wall and including door are all rotted out.

Another option we were thinking is cut away what I don't want, move the existing rear cap behind. The rear has this huge gorgeous window that would be totally safe with toyd and crap in the back heehee but I'd probably put a cage or something

After calling around and looking for cutaway cabs, looks like working with what I have is the best bet anyway.

The seats can be reused and they do have belts, if I'm doing plan B, then I'd eventually want to change them out for something more comfortable... At least for my husband

Ideally I wanted more than the 2 existing doors but since an f series cab won't work, I'm ok with what I have.

It has an ada entrance on the rear that I wonder if I could move up to the front as well...
 

Booyah45828

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With fab skills you could move it forward, but those chair lifts are heavy, so make sure you don't exceed the front axle/tire capacity. You could probably reuse the door without the lift if you wanted. I've seen some buses where they had 2 normal van doors up front, with a passenger seat like the driver's, and then had a double-out door in the middle for the rear passengers. I believe this was on a prison transport, but it's been awhile since I've seen it.
 
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